Last season, Donna Karan abandoned the runway and showed her DKNY collection on mannequins during Sunday brunch at Pastis, in Manhattan's fashionably overrun Meatpacking District. For fall, the mannequins were back (styled by Patricia Field), with the venue and time changed to 5 o'clock cocktails at the Dorothy Parker-haunted Algonquin. But if an air of Round Table exclusivity was the goal, it was not achieved. Dozens of people attempted to circle the room, tripping over photographers and prone forms in an attempt to get a halfway-decent look at some pretty clothes.

On view were the season's requisite tiered peasant skirts, paired with fitted jackets, some ruffled, almost all belted tight at the waist. Long dresses had Empire lines. A wool cape topped a blazer and cropped pants. Rabbit fur and shearling coats promised warmth, which was also evoked by the autumnal palette.